Going Pro in Wifery

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Yesterday my friend Noelle and I decided to meet up for a girls-only lunch date. I was super excited about it because, even though she only lives in CT, I hadn’t seen her for a while. Before meeting up, I tried to get a few errands done:

I did a couple of loads of laundry (a never-ending task in our house). I went to the grocery story. I made a few treats for an event I am doing at work tonight. And I put dinner in the crockpot.

Despite the fact that I had to push back our original meeting time by 40 minutes, I was feeling pretty good about myself when I showed up for lunch with Noelle. Naturally, I had to brag to her about my accomplishments, specifically about having dinner in the crockpot. To which Noelle quickly replied “yeah, I have mine in too. A pot roast.”

Umm, can someone please inform our husbands JUST how lucky they are? I mean, when it comes to being good wives, I think we’ve nailed it. Maybe we can go pro and get sponsored by Crockpot.

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I made a thai peanut chicken dish. It was really good. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

3 large chicken breasts
1 red or green bell pepper, diced (I used green)
1 sweet onion, diced
¾ c chunky peanut butter
1-2 T lime juice (one whole fresh lime, squeezed) – can use key lime juice as a substitute
1/2 cup chicken broth (you can use coconut milk if you want it to be creamier)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 T cumin (depending on your taste)
1-2 T crushed red pepper flakes (depending on your taste)

rice
chopped green onion
chopped lightly salted peanuts
chopped fresh cilantro

Layer into the crockpot the following:
chicken
onion
green pepper

In a small bowl add peanut butter, lime juice, chicken stock, soy sauce, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Whisk together until well combined. Taste and adjust your seasonings accordingly. Pour over the chicken and vegetables in the crockpot.

Place the lid on and cook on low setting for 3-4 hours. Make sure to stir your mixture at least once during the cooking process, to incorporate the flavors and distribute for even cooking. You should have a nice “gravy” that will work well served over rice.

Serve over rice with the green onions, peanuts and fresh cilantro as garnish.

Dueling Christmas Lights – Part Two

If you missed yesterday’s post, click here.

Up next, the lights from the great state of New Hampshire. The most impressive part of this light show, wasn’t actually the lights. It was the fact that, feeling our complacency with the “same-old-same-old” light display, my dad logged onto the computer and researched a new light display nearby. Impressive.

So after visiting our tried and true spots, we drove to the neighboring town to see if this new light display was really that good.

Yup, it was. That is, unless you suffer from seizures. Then it probably wasn’t good for you at all.

Dueling Christmas Lights – Part One

Another one of the Brethauer Christmas traditions is to go and look at Christmas lights. Over the years we have driver to many different areas around our town. Sadly, the past four of five years, have pretty much been the same exact houses (something which Matt reminds me every year since these are the only years he has been included in the tradition). Well this year, BOTH sets of parents stepped it up. And boy was I impressed.

First up, the Englehardts. Christmas light viewing is nothing something Matt grew up doing. They were more a “go to the movies on Christmas” type of family. Thankfully, they have welcomed many of my crazy traditions into their lives. So when Matt’s mother announced that she has a surprise adventure planned, I was psyched. We drove to the town of Millis, MA a neighboring town to where Matt grew up. Unfortunately, about 2,000 other people had the same surprise adventure in mind and we ended up waiting for over an hour in traffic. During this time we enjoyed some quality family bonding time with the Boston Pops concert playing in the background. When we finally pulled up enough to see the lights, we all realized the wait was well worthwhile.

Every year, a local businessman, Kevin Meehan puts on a display to top all displays in his family’s home. What started as a small family project has become a Winter Wonderland, acres upon acres lit from top to bottom, which includes 45+ workshops where all of Santa’s friends, family and elves are preparing for the coming holiday, a real tugboat, and Santa himself sitting 40 feet tall. The display is free for all to experience, but friends and family of Mr. Meehan collect donations for the Salvation Army along the route (a nice touch in my mind).

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Mr. Meehan owns a large auto dealership, so the display included some of the new trucks and cars that might be on folks’ Christmas Lists. Hey, a little self-promotion never hurt anyone. Or did it?

Turn it tomorrow for the NH light show.

A Christmas Recap

A few images from our New England Christmas celebrations! Our first stop was Massachusetts to spend time with Matt’s family.

Getting some QT with my niece puppy Sunshine
Getting some QT with my niece puppy Sunshine
Sunny is so happy about her new fur coat
Sunny is so happy about her new fur coat
Bringing a Brethauer tradition to the Englehardts... Monkey Bread!
Bringing a Brethauer tradition to the Englehardts… Monkey Bread!
New clothes!
New clothes!
Quick take a photo of me while I casually pose.
Quick take a photo of me while I casually pose.
Englehardt Family!
Englehardt Family!
The boys made bloody marys for everyone.
The boys made bloody marys for everyone.
Bloody mary bar
Bloody mary bar
I got a new power screw driver from my father-in-law
I got a new power screw driver from my father-in-law
Courtney opening our present to her, a soda stream!
Courtney opening our present to her, a soda stream!
Yummy Chrismtas morning brunch
Yummy Chrismtas morning brunch

Then it was up to New Hampshire for a few days with my family.

Nothing beats hanging out with Abby and her dog Bexley
Nothing beats hanging out with Abby and her dog Bexley
Frosting sugar cookies
Frosting sugar cookies
Yummy!
Yummy!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
More monkey bread!
More monkey bread!
A skinny Christmas tree this year!
A skinny Christmas tree this year!

 

Deer in the backyard
Deer in the backyard
Bexley in her new bed
Bexley in her new bed
Spending time with my favorite munchkins!
Spending time with my favorite munchkins!
Another Brethauer family tradition
Another Brethauer family tradition

We had a wonderful time visiting our families. Every year I am reminded just how lucky we all are and how incredible my husband is for putting up with my family and our crazy traditions. Here’s to many more Christmas memories made in our matching jammies!

One Trick Pony

Matt and I have been completely surprised by the number if visitors we’ve had since we made the move to Hoboken. We thought that we would get people out to our place 1, maybe 2 times per year. Not that it is far from NYC, but you know, people don’t like leaving the island… especially to come to the dirty Jerz. But thankfully, we have awesome friends who either (1) like us a lot, or (2) are curious to see just how much space you can afford in NJ as compared to NYC.

As a result of these visitors, my skills have been put to the test. Armed with my Martha Stewart manual and an amazing kitchen, I’ve been happily playing hostess with the mostest. I found a recipe on pinterest that looked good and decided to make it for our friends Lindsay and Mike when they came over for dinner one night. It was easy and seemed to be a crowd pleaser so I decided to add it to the menu for Thanksgiving. And it went over well again that day.

When we were at home over Christmas, my mother sent Abby, Matt and me to the store to get some things for dinner. I picked up the supplies to make this now, go-to appetizer. And just as it had the first two times, it went over well. That is, until Matt chimed in.

Apparently he didn’t like it.

No, not just this time, but all three times I made it.

Not sure why it took him so long to say something… but my go-to appetizer is now benched. Looks like this pony is going to forced to learn some new tricks.

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Even though Matt doesn’t like it, I’m still a fan – give it a try and let me know what you think!

Spinach Artichoke Flatbread (from Pip and Ebby)

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

The orginal recipe called for frozen pizza dough, but I just used a flatbread I bought at the store

One at a time, place a pizza dough round onto a pizza stone (I used a cookie tray since I don’t have a pizza stone). Top each round with:

1 tablespoon olive oil, spread out to 1/2 inch of edge of dough

3-4 tablespoons Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus, spread out to 1/2 inch of edge of dough

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1/4 of a small red onion, sliced

1/2 of a 14-ounce can of quartered artichokes, drained and patted dry with paper towels

1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown

Slice and enjoy!

Runs in the Family

People at work are always impressed with my creativity — probably more so than anyone else I’ve met. I think it is because for so many of them, as New Yorkers, they are limited in time and space to devote the same effort to crafts as other people. It is funny because in NYC you are surrounded by some of the most creative and inspirational people in the world, but it doesn’t always rub off on the general population. Also, since you have so many things at your fingertips, you can buy nearly everything, removing the need for people to make/create things themselves.

I often credit my creativity/craftiness to my family. I grew up in a household that was full of arts and crafts supplies and the “hey, I can make that” attitude. I wore many homemade Halloween costumes, my favorite of which was probably my M&M costume that my mom made out of two cardboard boxes but looked amazing. I always had a homemade birthday cake and when it was our turn to bring snacks to school, it was normally some kind of warm muffin that we made that morning.

My grandmother was extremely creative and passed that skill down to her two daughters (my mother and her sister). My Aunt is definitely one of the most creative people I know, so when I received a package in the mail the other day from her, I was immediately excited as I knew there would be some sort of creative homemade touch to it.

And I was not disappointed.

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My Aunt made this “good luck in the marathon” card herself, complete with eyelets on the sneaker that she added herself. I have to say, I was impressed. I don’t want to show it to anyone at work because suddenly my Robin Hood-ized crafts don’t look quick as impressive.

In addition to the card, I also received this beautiful bracelet, which I LOVE!

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Isn’t’ family the best?